It seems to me you can't swing a dead cat near an augmented reality developer without hearing the word Vuforia escape their lips. PTC's software solution has become the go-to for most developers in the mobile AR space, and since they recently added full support for the HoloLens in Unity, I figured it was about time we learn to make something with it.
Welcome back to this series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens with Vuforia. Now that we've set up Vuforia and readied our ImageTarget and camera system, we can see our work come to life. Because in the end, is that not one of the main driving forces when developing—that Frankenstein-like sensation of bringing something to life that was not there before?
Many new developers are diving right into the Microsoft HoloLens, but augmented and mixed reality are fairly big subjects in terms of learning. There's a lot to cover and, unfortunately, very few places for someone brand new to Windows Holographic to begin lessons.
Now that we've set up Vuforia in Unity, we can work on the more exciting aspects of making physical objects come to life on the HoloLens. In this guide, we will choose an image (something that you physically have in your home), build our ImageTarget database, and then set up our Unity camera to be able to recognize the chosen image so that it can overlay the 3D holographic effect on top of it.
The release of Unity 5.6 brought with it several great enhancements. One of those enhancements is the new Video Player component. This addition allows for adding videos to your scenes quickly and with plenty of flexibility. Whether you are looking to simply add a video to a plane, or get creative and build a world layered with videos on 3D objects, Unity 5.6 has your back.
In this first part of our tutorial series on making physical objects come to life on HoloLens, we are going to set up Vuforia in Unity.
With any continuously active software, it can start to become fairly complex after a few years of updates. New features and revisions both get layered into a thick mesh of menu systems and controls that even pro users can get bewildered by. If you are new to a certain application after it has been around for many years, it can be downright intimidating to know where to begin.
When making a convincing mixed reality experience, audio consideration is a must. Great audio can transport the HoloLens wearer to another place or time, help navigate 3D interfaces, or blur the lines of what is real and what is a hologram. Using a location-based trigger (hotspot), we will dial up a fun example of how well spatial sound works with the HoloLens.
Now that we've got all of our software installed, we're going to proceed with the next step in our HoloLens Dev 101 series—starting a fresh project and building it into a Holographic application. Then we will output the application to the HoloLens Emulator so we can see it in action.
One of the truly beautiful things about the HoloLens is its completely untethered, the-world-is-your-oyster freedom. This, paired with the ability to view your real surroundings while wearing the device, allows for some incredibly interesting uses. One particular use is triggering events when a user enters a specific location in a physical space. Think of it as a futuristic automatic door.
Being part of the wild frontier is amazing. It doesn't take much to blow minds of first time mixed reality users — merely placing a canned hologram in the room is enough. However, once that childlike wonder fades, we need to add more substance to create lasting impressions.
In this first part to my series on getting started with Windows Holographic, we are going to cover everything you need to get set up for developing HoloLens apps. There are many pieces coming together to make one single application, but once you get used to them all, you won't even notice. Now there are different approaches you can take to make applications for HoloLens, but this way is simply the fastest.
Don't let the lack of owning a HoloLens stop you from joining in on the fun of creating software in this exciting new space. The HoloLens Emulator offers a solution for everyone that wants to explore Windows Holographic development.